Is LinkedIn emerging as a bigger threat than Threads for X?

Data shows LinkedIn traffic up 18 percent, while X sees decline. Indian user base doubles, revenue grows 4X.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyMay 6, 2024 10:00 AM
Is LinkedIn emerging as a bigger threat than Threads for X?
In March 2024, X clocked 727.6 million unique visitors globally, marking a 7.5 percent decline from the previous year. Meanwhile, LinkedIn experienced a fairly good increase, reaching 269.2 million unique visitors, up by 11.1 percent year-over-year. (Image source: Unsplash)

X (formerly Twitter)’s decline in user engagement might be fuelling LinkedIn's rise as a platform for social discussions. Traditionally known for professional networking, LinkedIn is witnessing a surge in activity with thought leaders especially corporates across board engaging in conversations on diverse topics be it marketing, advertising, funding winter or job losses.

When Meta launched Threads, an online social media and social networking service, in July 2023, there was speculation it would dethrone X. While that discussion trended for a while, it fizzled out.

Ironically, it wasn't Threads, but LinkedIn that emerged as a surprising contender.

Research from data analytics platform SimilarWeb supports this shift. According to them, as of March 2024, LinkedIn’s web traffic grew by 10.6 percent year-over-year. On the other X saw a decline of 15.2 percent suggesting a potential migration of users.

According to Shradha Agarwal, co-founder and CEO at marketing agency Grapes, X’s popularity has declined because users are finding it less valuable.

“In contrast, LinkedIn has seen explosive growth. From a professional standpoint, users find LinkedIn a more meaningful platform to project a successful image, and establish themselves as thought leaders.Furthermore, the emergence of a new platform have conversations, can provide fresh opportunities for those who haven't achieved significant success elsewhere. For example, marketing professionals who struggled to make a big splash on TikTok or Instagram have found significant traction on LinkedIn,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal also highlighted how influencer marketing on LinkedIn would initially involve a lot of bartering.

“Users desired access to CEOs, CMOs, and impactful female entrepreneurs. However, the landscape has shifted, and many influencers now command fees for their services,” she added.

SimilarWeb data also suggests that since November 2022, X's website traffic has decreased by 10 percent. Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022 whereas LinkedIn's traffic has surged by 18 percent.

In March, X clocked 727.6 million unique visitors globally, marking a 7.5 percent decline from the previous year. Meanwhile, LinkedIn experienced a fairly good increase, reaching 269.2 million unique visitors, up by 11.1 percent year-over-year.

Back in India, the LinkedIn community has touched 127 million.

According to LinkedIn, revenue in India has grown nearly 4X in the last 6 years (FY17 - FY23) and India’s member base has nearly doubled in the last 4 years, from 64 million plus in 2020 to 127 million in 2024).

  The success in India can be attributed to several key factors they said.

“Firstly, the increasing recognition among our members, especially the youth, of LinkedIn's value in their professional journey is evident in the 73 percent y-o-y surge in student sign-ups. Secondly, our commitment to providing AI-powered personalised experiences, such as top choice, job collections, and AI-powered LinkedIn learning, has significantly enriched the member experience, creating broader avenues for engagement and brand building,” the company said.

 “As LinkedIn evolves beyond being solely a platform for peer-to-peer connections, we've observed that members are embracing learning and knowledge exchange. This has led to a 24 percent y-o-y increase in content sharing and a 4x uptick in weekly contributions to AI-driven collaborative articles globally,” they added.  Looking ahead, the platform is focused on innovation where they’d attempt to put power of AI directly into the hands of the members.  

Another ASO tools, app intelligence and analytics platform, Appfigures said LinkedIn’s surge in profit and popularity is not a new trend.

“Our estimates show LinkedIn brought in $20M in net revenue from the App Store and Google Play. Estimated net revenue rose to $36 million by the first quarter of 2022 and a whopping $91million by the first quarter of 2023. Q1 of 2024 was LinkedIn's biggest in terms of revenue. Our estimates show LinkedIn earned $119 million,” they said.

According to them, X and Snapchat also had their best quarterly revenue ever in 2024. However, estimates show X added $23million and Snapchat $67 million of net revenue in the quarter. “Impressive growth for Snapchat for sure. Still lower than LinkedIn - even if you add up the two,” they said in their report.

First Published on May 6, 2024 9:39 AM

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